The University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners Co., Ltd. (UTEC) announced the first close of its new fund, UTEC 5 Limited Partnership (UTEC 5). UTEC 5 is expected to exceed $275 million (30 billion yen) in total by June 2021.
The aggregated amount of Assets Under Management (AUM) from UTEC 1 to UTEC 5 amounts to approximately $780 million (85 billion yen), making it the largest venture capital fund in Japan in science and technology fields, and one of the largest deep-tech funds in Asia.
UTEC 5 is backed by leading institutional investors from Japan and greater Asia, including a large Southeast Asian sovereign wealth fund.
UTEC is an independent VC fund associated with academic institute The University of Tokyo, that invests in deep-tech startups that solve global issues of humankind using science & technology. Started in 2004, UTEC has invested in over 110 startups with a track record of 13 IPOs & 12 M&As.
Kiran Mysore, Principal at UTEC, who leads Global AI investments in the company, said,
“We started investing in Indian deep-tech startups from 2018, and have so far invested approximately $25 million as lead investors in four Indian companies. The science-and-engineering-led startups from India will herald a golden age of deep-tech innovation and societal value creation with a global impact. UTEC is committed to proactively contribute by building bridges between India and Japan,”
UTEC has a portfolio of over 80 Japanese startups and 30 global startups in USA, India, Southeast Asia, and Europe.
Tomotaka Goji, Managing Partner & President of UTEC, said, “Since 2004, UTEC has helped our startups grow so as to go public and get acquired worldwide. Thirteen of our portfolio companies have gone public on Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) and NASDAQ with an aggregate market cap of ~$15 billion. UTEC 5 will allow us to provide more funds from seed/early to pre-IPO/M&A stages in Japan and worldwide, on a wider scale and in a more consistent manner. I believe this will further help our startups expand to address global issues of humankind.”
UTEC typically invests in seed/early-stage (Seed, Pre-Series A, Series A) to later stage companies, and support the entire lifecycle of the startups that apply science & technology to multiple sectors such as healthcare & life sciences, Information Technology (IT) and Physical Sciences & Engineering.
“We back startups that are characterised by a strong and diverse team of scientists, engineers, and business leaders. UTEC also has a penchant for bold startups going after global markets from day one by tackling issues of humankind in a scalable and profitable manner. We are especially interested in global startups which could have potent Japanese synergies in terms of market, technology or/and collaboration with Japanese companies. ” said Noriaki Sakamoto, Partner & Board Member of UTEC.
With the launch of its new fund, UTEC also became a member of IVCA (Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association).
UTEC categorises the deep-tech innovations coming out of India into two categories – Science-led innovation, where it has invested in Bugworks; and Engineering-led innovation, where it has invested in Tricog and Agara.